At least 10 people were killed and nine others wounded after a suicide car bomber detonated explosives at the El-Gab junction near the Presidential Palace on Saturday, the police said.
There was a huge explosion along one of the routes in downtown Mogadishu that leads to the palace, also known as Villa Somalia.
The area, where many vehicles stop for security checks, was immediately sealed by security forces, allowing only emergency personnel and their means of transport to help the victims.
Abdifatah Aden Hassan, the Somali police spokesman said a saloon car laden with explosives detonated near a checkpoint.
“At least 10 people died in the blast,” the spokesman said, adding nine others were injured.
“The casualties included a mother heading to a nearby Mother and Child Health clinic,” he said.
Witnesses told Xinhua that security forces were deployed to the scene to secure the place.
"This was a huge explosion and when I tried to approach the scene, I saw cars were destroyed due to the impact of the explosion," Ahmed Ali, a witness, said.
Al-Shabaab terror group, which is fighting the government, claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming it killed many security personnel and government officials.
The group was routed from Mogadishu in 2011 by the allied forces and has had to abandon most of its strongholds, but it still controls vast rural areas and remains the key threat to peace in Somalia.
A statement from the Somali prime minister’s office stated that one of its staff named Ms Hibak Abukar was a victim of the explosion.
Mogadishu has been experiencing less car bombings, but more explosions by persons wearing suicide jackets.
The latest on Friday evening was a suicidal person, assaulting a teashop near Madina Hospital, the largest medical facility for victims of violence in Mogadishu.